Birds of prey are known for their velocity. The aim of the OWL is to become the fastest accelerating EV ever made. Masanori Yoshida is the President and CEO of Aspark, the Japanese company behind the electric hypercar. He talked to Auto Futures about his vision.
Yoshida told us that he wanted to create an innovative project ever since he was a student. That’s why he established the engineering resource company Aspark Co. Ltd in 2005. Today it employs over 2,700 people around the world. The OWL is the first ever Aspark-branded hypercar.
He says that his company strongly believes in zero emissions and he hopes that the OWL will spark the public’s interest in EVs. But he also wants to bring something new to the table.
“It is true that electric cars are becoming the norm, but where is the fun in being normal? Designing a car that just looks different is not enough, designing one that makes your heart race is the ultimate goal. It is also our innovation that, we are not only producing a beautiful and zero emission car but a faster car than other electric supercars.”
The OWL’s major target is 0-100kph in less than 2 seconds from a standing start. The aim is to achieve a lap record at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
Only 50 cars will be produced worldwide and the first customer car is set to be delivered within the second quarter of 2020. The estimated cost will be 3.1 million euros and all owners will have their own unique car. The full details will be announced at the Dubai Auto Show later this year.
A Thing of Beauty…
Yoshida takes credit for the car’s original design concept. But, he says, highly experienced Japanese and Italian designers worked together on the final exterior and internal designs which will also be unveiled in Dubai. In December 2018, Aspark signed an agreement with Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) for the final development and manufacturing of the OWL in Turin, Italy.
“99.9% of cars on the world’s roads fall into the formal category and most of these cars look like each other. This kind of concept would not be acceptable to me. For the OWL’s design concept, we focused on making conventional supercars look slow. A simple car; she offers unprecedented speed and beauty. For the OWL, beauty is a given, just like the bird of prey.”
He adds: “Car design is subject to numerous limitations: aerodynamics, performance and styling are just a few of the considerations that my design team considered in the body design of the Owl concept. The result, a car the likes of which the world has never seen.”
When he drove the OWL for the first time, Yoshida says he felt fear. “My first emotion was ‘she is unbelievably fast!’ and to be frank, the first drive…scared me a bit. It was new and incredible for me which is impossible to describe that emotion with just words. You have to experience that. One thing you can imagine: she is a rocket on the road.”
Yoshida uses words like ‘elegance’ ‘feminine’ and ‘stylish’ to describe the electric hypercar, which he’s clearly very proud of. And he’s 100% sure that those lucky owners who manage to get their hands on an OWL will love the experience.